The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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October 6, 2013

Sure shot: New 3-D archery range to help hunters get right on target

That whitetail deer target that you’ve been shooting at is probably starting to look a little ragged. Maybe you’d like to try a different type of target? How does an alligator sound? What about a moose?

The owner of The Smokin’ Arrow says he has just what you need.

The Smokin’ Arrow 3-D Indoor Archery Range in Beckley has animal targets that will satisfy everyone from the veteran hunter to the person who just wants to try something new.

“We have 23 Rinehart 3-D animal targets,” owner Scott Calhoun said. “You pay to shoot by the round. It’s one arrow at 23 different targets from 23 different stations. It takes about 30 minutes or so to shoot a round. We are also selling a little bit of retail. We’re planning on expanding that at some point.”

For $15 you can shoot for one round or $25 will get you two back-to-back rounds. The Smokin’ Arrow also has one lane that’s open for shooting spot targets. The open lane is also $15 for half an hour.

Calhoun says the business will help all bowhunters practice for that perfect shot.

“Bow hunting in West Virginia is huge,” he said. “Everyone knows that. I think the fact that we’re shooting targets indoors and shooting animal targets benefits the bowhunter. The fact that we’re doing it indoors and able to do it all winter long and be able to shoot in rain, snow, shine or whatever will be a big draw.

“Not everyone has the opportunity to shoot that many different animal targets. Obviously you can’t afford to put all of those targets in your backyard.”

Calhoun says the range is also a good break from the usual that people get to experience.

“I’ve got a lot of guys who come in and just like to shoot the targets who aren’t even hunters,” he said.“Again, the biggest thing is that you have the opportunity to shoot everything from an alligator to a moose. The majority of the people who have targets in their backyard are just shooting at a white-tailed deer target that you’d just pick up at your local Walmart or wherever.

“I think it’s a visual thing,” Calhoun added. “People see it and they say, ‘Wow. I’ve got to go do that.’ Everyone that I’ve seen walk in just walks in and says, ‘Wow.’ It’s got a wow factor to it for sure. It’s good practice and it’s good fun. The thing I see most is a group of buddies that come in a lot and they go back there and score each other. I’ve got a couple of groups that come in every single week and they’re just beating each other up to see who’s the best this week.”

Calhoun says even the little ones can come in and have a good time.

“We’ve got kids that come in and shoot,” he said. “A lot of parents are bringing their kids in and it’s a safe environment for them. We do have some rental bows that we offer. They’re sort of basic bows, but kids come in and have a blast with them. I’ve had a couple of kid’s birthday parties here. That was very interesting.”

The cost for a rental bows is $25 and you get to use it for the whole round. Calhoun says you can always bring your own bow though.

The Smokin’ Arrow 3-D Indoor Archery Range is open Tuesday through Friday from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The shop is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

For more information about the range or to schedule your next event, call Calhoun at 304-253-3004 or visit www.smokinarrow.com.

The Smokin’ Arrow is connected to the Gunsmoke Indoor Pistol Range at 120 Hank-woods Drive in Beckley.

— E-mail: cneff@register-herald.com

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